Eight Ways to Start an Adult Sports Program
Want a fun way to engage seekers of all ages, beyond just youth? Sports and recreation ministries expand opportunities for your congregation to connect with each other and the community.
Living a God-centered life can involve a little sweat, fun and competition. Any church or cluster of congregations can consider starting an exercise class, developing a sports league or serving as a center of recreational activity. Consider these eight ways to start a sports ministry.
1. Build it.
Since more than 90 percent of people surveyed said they participate in or watch some form of sport or recreation weekly, the recreation center seemed a natural opportunity to reach as many people as possible.
2. Assess interest.
Ask how they would be willing to work in the ministry (teach, coach, play, attend). Analyze results and see how your existing facility could accommodate the ministry's beginnings.
Perhaps a nearby school could share its sports field for league play. You could move furniture in your church's community room to accommodate a weekly yoga class.
3. Inspire others.
Open to church members and their guests, the CUMC center offers recreational facilities and sports leagues each season—soccer in fall, basketball in winter, baseball in spring and flag football in summer.
4. Offer more than athletics.
It offers fitness programs. Aerobics is taught three mornings and two evenings each week to accommodate the community's diverse schedules. Childcare also is provided for all classes.
Fun and fellowship for men comes in the form of pick-up basketball in the gym one scheduled evening or afternoon a week. The pick-up games require little administrative effort, just someone to open the doors and welcome the players.
6. Don't go it alone.
7. Get into the wider community.
8. Involve everyone.
Invite participants in the church's sports and recreation programs to attend a service, wearing their uniforms. Then gather afterward for a dinner. Be sure to include plenty of vegetables for vegetarians.
One church uses the celebration meal to raise money for scholarships for the sports ministry.
This information is courtesy of United Methodist Communications, www.umcom.org.